AskDefine | Define placeholder

Dictionary Definition



1 a person authorized to act for another [syn: proxy, procurator]
2 a symbol in a logical or mathematical expression that can be replaced by the name of any member of specified set

User Contributed Dictionary






  1. Something used or included temporarily or as a substitute for something that is not known or must remain generic; that which holds, denotes or reserves a place for something to come later.
    This is placeholder data, so you’ll want to include the real numbers as soon as you have them.


that which holds, denotes or reserves a place for something to come later

Extensive Definition

A placeholder is a term, sign or some other thing which generally stands in the place of a term, etc., with a specific meaning.
In disciplines involving formal languages, particularly mathematics and logic, the placeholder concept is replaced by the more carefully defined concepts of free variables and bound variables. In computer science placeholders are sometimes referred to as metasyntactic variables.
In politics, a placeholder is sometimes used to indicate that a person is acting in a position on a non-permanent basis or as a proxy.

See also

placeholder in French: Marque substitutive
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